The Gujarat government has agreed for a judicial probe in the Kutch sex racket and gang rape case, in which a four local BJP leaders are allegedly accused. The announcement of the probe was made by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani in the Assembly on Wednesday. He said, “We are committed to ensure that all guilty [are] punished and no one is spared.”The Congress had aggressively pushed for a probe in the case by forcing adjournment of Assembly proceedings frequently on Monday and Tuesday. However, the Opposition party did not raise the issue after the Mr. Rupani’s announcement.Members of the Congress had even placed their demands even before the presentation of annual budget in the house on Tuesday. The house was adjourned and the Congress members pressed for a probe during the question hour. Earlier, a State Congress delegation had sought for Gujarat governor O.P. Kohli’s intervention in the matter. The caseA 23-year-old woman had filed an FIR with the Kutch police earlier this month, accusing nine persons of gang rape. She had also alleged that 35 young women and college-going girls were lured by a group of businessmen and politicians into flesh trade. According to the FIR, in August 2015, the woman came to her mother’s house at Kothara village in Kutch from Mumbai (where she was staying with her husband). She was looking for a job and her mother sought help from one Bababhai, who owned a mobile shop in Naliya town. He reportedly assured the family that he would help the woman find a job within a couple of days. He also introduced her to a gas agency owner Shantilal Solanki, who offered her a job at ₹5,500 per month. Subsequently, the woman was repeatedly gang raped by nine persons at different places in Kutch district. Four local BJP politicians, among other accused, were named in the FIR filed by the victim. The politicians have been arrested by the cops.
Counting for all the 42 Lok Sabha Seats in West Bengal has started at 8 a.m. amidst tight security in Kolkata and rest of the State.The postal ballots are being counted in the first hour and it indicates that Trinamool Congress (TMC) is ahead in six Seats as the first few hundreds of the ballots are being counted.The BJP and the Congress are ahead in three and two Seats respectively. Most of these Seats showing trends are in north Bengal.Left Front is not ahead in any of the 42 Seats.A total of nearly seven crore electors voted in Bengal of which nearly 12 lakh were first-time voters. Polling took place in seven phase in the State with a population of about 10 crore.Various pre-result polls – which are not always correct – indicated that Left Front’s votes will drop in 2019 Bengal election and BJP will gain in the State.Trinamool Congress bagged 34 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha poll while the BJP got two. The Congress and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) got two each.A clear trend is expected to emerge around mid day.
An independent MLA was on Sunday booked by the Punjab police for allegedly berating Gurdaspur Deputy Commissioner publicly at the civil hospital here on the issue of identity of a victim’s body, with the video of the incident having gone viral. In the video, legislator Simranjit Singh Bains is seen shouting at Deputy Commissioner Vipul Ujwal even as the officer tries to clear some confusion over the identity of a blast victim’s body. A day after the blast in a firecracker unit here that killed 23 people, Lok Insaaf Party chief and MLA Bains had allegedly berated Ujwal publicly at the civil hospital here. Police have booked Ludhiana MLA and his unidentified 20-odd associates on charges of voluntarily obstructing and assaulting or using criminal force against a public servant from discharging his duty, committing trespass and making criminal intimidation and other relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code. Senior Superintendent of Police Opinderjit Singh said the FIR has been registered on the complaint of Batala Sub-divisional Magistrate Balraj Singh who was also present at the time of incident. Yells at the officer“Eh tere baap da office nahi hai. Eh public da office hai. Te tu public nu hi keh rehan ki bahar jao. (It’s not your father’s office, it’s a public office and you are asking the public to get out),” Mr. Bains is heard yelling at Mr. Ujwal, even as the officer is seen trying to calm the infuriated MLA in the video. “Mera naal gal kar la pehla” (Talk to me first),” the legislator is seen telling the officer earlier in the 45-second video in presence of SSP Mr. Singh, Civil Surgeon Kishan Chand and Deputy SP Balkrishna Singla.Refuses to see reasons With the furious MLA refusing to see reasons, a humiliated Deputy Commissioner is heard merely quipping “I’m not going to talk to you” and seen leaving the place. Reacting to the registration of case against him and his companions, Mr. Bains accused Chief Minister Amarinder Singh of being behind the legal action against him.
asian championshipsAsian Shooting ChampionshipsbronzeDeepak Kumar First Published: November 6, 2019, 7:46 AM IST Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. Doha: Manu Bhaker on Tuesday won gold in women’s 10m air pistol event while Vivaan Kapoor and Manisha Keer won the yellow metal in junior trap mixed event at the Asian Shooting Championships here.Their wins came after Deepak Kumar won bronze in men’s 10m air rifle event, thus ensuring India’s 10th Tokyo Olympics quota in shooting. After Divyansh Singh Panwar, Deepak is the second Indian shooter to earn an Olympic quota in the event. Manu and any other Indian shooter was ineligible to win an Olympic quota as the country has already exhausted them in earlier competitions. She put up a dominant showing, shooting 584 in qualification and 244.3 in the final to take gold. Chinese Asian Games champion Wang Qian took the silver with a score of 242.8.Yashaswini Singh Deswal, who is the other shooter apart from Manu to have won a quota in the event, shot 578 in the qualifiers and finished sixth in the final with a score of 157.4.The third Indian in the event, Annu Raj Singh, shot 569 for a 20th place finish. The trio went on to win bronze in the team event with a score of 1,731, with Korea winning gold and China the silver.Vivaan and Manisha beat the Chinese pair of Ting Zhang and Pengyu Chen 34-29 in the gold medal match. The latter had qualified for the final with a record score.In women’s 10m air rifle, Anjum Moudgil missed the final by the smallest of margins while Apurvi Chandela finished 12th. Elavenil Valarivan, however, made it to the final and finished fifth with a score of 187.1.Indian shooters have so far secured 10 Tokyo Olympics quotas in rifle and pistol events and lie behind China (25 quotas) and Korea (12) in the Asian region.
Australian Bernard Tomic courted controversy yet again when he fired lewd comments toward a heckler at the U.S. Open during his first-round upset loss to Bosnia’s Damir Dzumhur on Tuesday. (Former champion Juan Martin del Potro roars into US Open second round)Television cameras and microphones caught Tomic directing a number of sexually explicit comments toward someone in the crowd during the first set of his 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(0) defeat to World No.72 Dzumhur.The Australian, who was the 17th seed at the year’s final grand slam, later apologised for his comments but suggested he was forced into it by the heckling he had received. (Williams sisters act through to US Open second round)”He was just baiting me a bit,” Tomic, who cold face a fine from the International Tennis Federation for his comments, told reporters. “I don’t want to get into it. I apologise for what I said to him.”He definitely baited me the whole set for me to say that. But I do apologise. If there were people around that heard, yeah, that’s all I can say. (Eugenie Bouchard falls at US Open but legal battle continues)”I couldnt care less. I apologise right now if anyone heard around, but I directed it specifically to him.”The incident was the latest in a long list of controversies to affect the world’s 19th ranked tennis player.Tomic drew heavy criticism in May following his exit from the Madrid Open when, on match point against Fabio Fognini, he held the racquet by the strings and did not offer a shot to the Italian’s serve. (Kei Nishikori avoids first-round exit, Ana Ivanovic knocked out)advertisementThe Australian, who was nicknamed ‘Tomic the Tank Engine’ after accusations he ‘tanked’ — or failed to try his best — in a loss to Andy Roddick at the 2012 U.S. Open, then told a News Corp. journalist who questioned his actions in Madrid “would you care if you were 23 and worth over $10 million?”He later ruled himself out of consideration for the Rio Games after the head of the Australian team had warned him that his behaviour was being monitored to judge his suitability for the Olympics.In 2013, Tomic lost his driving licence for speeding and in 2015 he was arrested in Miami for trespassing and resisting arrest after a party.
Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki overcame Petra Kvitova in a White Group match at the WTA Finals to keep her title defence hopes alive.Wozniacki overcame a mid-match wobble and withstood a barrage of big hitting with a 7-5 3-6 6-2 victory over Kvitova at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Tuesday.Both players came into the contest on the back of opening defeats in round robin play but the Danish world number three ended a run of four straight defeats to the Czech to stay alive in the eight-woman tournament for at least one more match.Wozniacki, who started her White Group campaign with a 6-2 6-4 loss to Karolina Pliskova on Sunday, spent most of the match against Kvitova pinned on the baseline but her consistency and patience proved vital as she pulled away in the final set.”I played much better today. I served and returned pretty well, and moved really well against a player who is so powerful that you have to stay on your game,” Wozniacki said”You never know what is going to happen against Petra, so I just stayed focused and got a lot of balls back.”Defending champion @CaroWozniacki seals the win at the @WTAFinalsSG!Gets the victory over Kvitova 7-5, 3-6, 6-2! pic.twitter.com/DiZK1G165qWTA (@WTA) October 23, 2018The match was a cagey affair from the outset with seven holds of serve in a row. But after they traded breaks as the intensity levels picked up, Wozniacki broke again to seal the opener when Kvitova blasted a forehand into the net.advertisementKvitova took control of the second set with an early break, then lost momentum when Wozniacki took a timeout for treatment on her knee, before she regained the upper hand to level the match with a sliced backhand winner on her third set point.Sensing her title defence was in tatters, Wozniacki regrouped to break at the start of the decider when she put away a backhand to win the longest rally of the match, and ran away with the contest as Kvitova wilted in the final set.The 28-year-old Wozniacki sealed victory on her first match point with a big serve that Kvitova sent long, and will hope to win her final match of round robin play against Elina Svitolina to secure a semi-final berth.”I just always believe in myself, that I am going to win when I go out on court. I was just out there, had the belief and fought to the end,” Wozniacki added.The Ukrainian Svitolina, who beat Kvitova in her opening match, takes on big-serving Czech Pliskova in Tuesday’s second match with the winner almost virtually assured of advancing to the last four.(With inputs from Reuters)
India will pose a tough hurdle for Australia despite their “vulnerabilities”, feels the great Allan Border ahead of the high-profile World Cup clash here on Sunday.Australia is on a roll having won their last 10 ODIs, including the three victories on the trot against India in March when they came from behind to beat Virat Kohli and Co 3-2 in an away series.Though India won comfortably beat South Africa in their World Cup opener on Wednesday, Border said it was not a convincing performance.”I think they (India) got out of jail a little bit the other day, the South Africans played pretty well but they are just not scoring enough runs, and then Rohit Sharma kept it all together for the Indians,” wrote Border in his column for the ICC.”India has got some vulnerabilities, but they also have some world-class performers in Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and the rest it’s a pretty handy side!”The former Australia captain said the game against a top team like India will give them a better indication where they stand at the moment. The Aaron Finch-led side got the better of Afghanistan and West Indies in their first two games.”If you can win games without playing your best, obviously you want to build to your best, that’s what a time like this is about and India next up will be a big stumbling block.”That’s a tough hurdle for Australia but once they’ve played a couple of decent teams, they will have a better idea of where they are at with regards to the rest of the tournament,” said Border.advertisementWith the tournament already witnessing some unexpected results, Border said it has made the World Cup more open. Bangladesh beat South Africa and Pakistan snapped an 11-game losing streak by downing tournament favorites England to spice up the tournament.”All the sides are basically showing they can beat each other, that’s the main thing that’s come out of these early games, there’s no obvious runaway-looking team at the moment.”I think that is how most of us expected it to be at this point that there would be a lot of teams you expect to do well and then there would be a few surprise packages.”West Indies will clearly be one of those sides to keep an eye on, they look really dangerous, but Australia is progressing nicely so far and will be happy with their start to the tournament,” Border added.Also Read | MS Dhoni’s Army Insignia gesture wonderful but ICC rule has to be respected, says Baichung BhutiaAlso Read | World Cup 2019: Fans furious after ICC asks MS Dhoni to remove Army crest from glovesAlso See
Chelsea 2 Everton 1: Rudiger and Willian send spirited Toffees out Omnisport Last updated 2 years ago 04:45 10/26/17 Getty Images Chelsea progressed to the EFL Cup quarter-finals as Antonio Rudiger’s header and a Willian screamer sealed a 2-1 win over Everton. Antonio Rudiger’s header and Willian’s stunning stoppage-time strike secured Chelsea a place in the EFL Cup quarter-finals as David Unsworth’s first game in temporary charge of Everton ended in a 2-1 defeat.Ronald Koeman’s 16-month stint in charge of Everton was brought to a halt on Monday, following a humiliating 5-2 home defeat to Arsenal that left them 18th in Premier League.However, a rejuvenated second-half display showed Everton’s quality – with a moment of magic from Willian in the 92nd minute ensuring that Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s effort soon after was a mere consolation. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Rudiger’s superb 26th-minute effort, the defender’s first goal for the Premier League champions, looked to have taken the spirit out of the Toffees, but Unsworth’s side responded superbly and dominated in the second half – Willy Caballero pulling off a string of saves to preserve Chelsea’s lead.Ademola Lookman went close with a blistering strike against the bar just before Chelsea wrapped up the win late on.Ultimately, though, it is now just two wins in 14 matches across all competitions for managerless Everton, who face fellow strugglers Leicester City next time out.1 – Everton have only kept one clean sheet in their last 14 games in all competitions (v Sunderland in the League Cup). Wounded.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 25, 2017Rudiger opened the scoring with the game’s first moment of quality as, unmarked at the back post, he powered a brilliant header home from Charly Musonda’s cross.Michy Batshuayi managed to get a shot off on Chelsea’s next meaningful venture forward, Jordan Pickford equal to the Belgium striker’s low strike.Devoid of confidence up top, Everton could have conceded again prior to the interval, and were fortunate that Davide Zappacosta could only hit the side-netting after Chelsea capitalised on Ashley Williams’ error.Impressing on his senior debut in Everton’s midfield, Beni Baningime spurred the Toffees into life after the restart with a crunching challenge on Ethan Ampadu – Jonjoe Kenny firing wide from the resulting counter.Everton pressed on and a star-jumping Caballero was out quickly to deny Wayne Rooney in the six-yard box before Aaron Lennon twice went close.Caballero’s fine form continued as Everton piled on the pressure, Chelsea’s stand-in goalkeeper keeping out Phil Jagielka’s header before denying Kevin Mirallas.Batshuayi should have wrapped up the victory with just over 10 minutes remaining after latching onto Rooney’s sloppy pass, but a poor touch took the ball wide of the post.Substitute Lookman almost made Chelsea pay with a scorching hit from distance that clattered the woodwork, only for Willian to do the damage at the other end.Having combined with Fabregas, the Brazil winger cut inside from the left to plant a wonderful curling effort in off the far post, giving Pickford no chance.There was to be late drama as Calvert-Lewin tucked home from close-range, but it was too little too late as Everton slumped to a third straight defeat..@willianborges88 #CHEEVE pic.twitter.com/mQh4SaGaFo— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) October 25, 2017 Key Opta stats:- The Blues have reached the League Cup quarter-final for the 21st time in their history – only Arsenal (26), Spurs (23) and Liverpool (22) have reached the last eight on more occasions.- Chelsea haven’t lost a home game against Everton in all competitions since November 1994 – remaining unbeaten in their last 28 (W17 D11).- Everton have only kept one clean sheet in their last 14 games in all competitions (v Sunderland in the League Cup third round).- Willian’s goal was his first of the season for Chelsea, and ended a run of 14 games in all competitions without scoring (since May v Sunderland).- Ethan Ampadu (17y 40d) became the first player born in 2000 to start for Chelsea in any competition.- Chelsea scored with two of their three shots on target in this game, while Willian’s goal was their only one of the second half. read more
India and Pakistan will hold the second round of officials talks on modalities of Kartarpur corridor will take place on July 14 at Wagah, Pakistan. Taking a step forward to break the deadlock on stalled India-Pakistan officials level talks on Kartarpur Corridor, New Delhi had last week asked Islamabad to pick a date between July 11-14 for the 2nd round of talks which are to take place at Attari-Wagah on the Pakistani side. Agreeing to the date, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it has conveyed to India that the second meeting to discuss the draft agreement for finalising the modalities of Kartarpur Corridor and related technical issues will be held on July 14, 2019 at Wagah. Also Read – Balakot strikes show major shift in govt’s handling of terror attacks: IAF chiefThe Indian side has been requested to convey the composition of its delegation, it said. “Pakistan remains committed to expedited progress on the matter to ensure that the Corridor is operationalized in time for the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak in November 2019,” it added. The 2nd round of talks was originally expected to take place on April 2 but India had postponed the talks as Pakistan had appointed Khalistani elements on a committee associated with the Kartarpur corridor. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps, 20 launch pads along LoC A known Khalistani and close aide of 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed, Gopal Singh Chawla was appointed to Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee which oversees the project on Pakistan side.The first round of India Pakistan talks were held on March 14 on the Indian side of Attari-Wagah border. The focus of the upcoming meeting, if Pakistan agrees, would be to discuss the draft agreement on the Kartarpur corridor which includes movement of pilgrims, alignment and infrastructure along the corridor. India during the first round of talks had proposed that the corridor should be open to Indian citizens and Indian diaspora with 5000 people allowed very day, Pakistan said it can allow only 700 people that too only Indian citizens on designated days with a paid permit.Other than India Pakistan officials level talks, 3 technical level discussions have taken place between both sides to discuss and finalise alignment and other related issues. Work is in full swing on the Indian side of the Kartarpur corridor with 45% of work already completed. India is building a four-lane highway and passenger bus terminal. The deadline for construction for the entire project is October 2019, just a month ahead of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji in November.(Inputs from DNAIndia.com)
Gurugram: To make sure that their voice is represented by the leaders during the upcoming assembly elections, a group of around 40 residents of the city have drafted a charter of demands.With a major focus on the protection of the Aravallis, the prominent resident groups have also highlighted other issues ranging from urban planning, environment, water and waste. One of the demands made in the charter is repealing the Punjab Land Preservation (Haryana Amendment) Bill, which the Haryana government had passed in February this year, opening thousands of acres of land in the Aravalli range for real estate development and mining. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”The Aravallis is an important zone for groundwater recharge and its degradation is badly affecting the city’s air quality. We want that declaring the Aravallis as deemed forest be an issue taken up this election. The Aravalli Biodiversity Park should also be declared a forest,” said Chetan Agarwal, a city-based environmentalist. The emphasis on the protection of Aravallis comes at a time when residents of villages around the forested area are forced to consume poisonous and polluted water. The sample of water collected from the villages of Baliawas and Bandhwari has shown high amounts of substances that can cause deadly diseases like cancer. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsEarlier too, the water samples collected from the Bandhwari have shown a large number of substances that includes chlorides, nitrites manganese and calcium were way above than even the unhealthy levels. It is important to note that with a landfill site spread around 30 acres in Bandhwari, large amounts of garbage are being dumped daily at the landfill site from Gurugram as well as Faridabad. Over 90 trucks come daily and dump the garbage. A set of demands to tackle Gurugram’s year-round air pollution includes setting up at least six air quality monitors in the city.
Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement OTTAWA, Ontario — Live Nation Canada, a Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. company, announced that it will continue to grow its presence in the Canadian marketplace with the addition of an office in Ottawa, ON. Live Nation, the world’s leading live entertainment company, already produces over 70 shows a year in Ottawa and has a deep knowledge of the local market. Given their proven performance in the region, and the fact that Ottawa is Canada’s sixth largest market for live music, Live Nation Canada sees multiple opportunities to grow the community’s music and live event offerings. Ken Craig has been appointed as Vice President, Ottawa Region to spearhead this effort, and will be based in the new Live Nation office in Ottawa, ON.As an independent promoter and producer based out of Ottawa for the past 20 years, Ken currently oversees a number of entertainment activities throughout Canada including the presentation and production of Jerry Seinfeld’s Canadian concert dates for the past 10 years. Additionally, Ken has been a long term senior contract producer for Live Nation overseeing the production of arena, stadium, and outdoor sites across Canada including the development of a venue production strategy at the new Centre Videotron in Quebec City, and the development of several green field sites including Magnetic Hill in Moncton and most recently, Wesley Clover Park in Ottawa. Ken will bring a wealth of local Ottawa and Northern Ontario operational and marketing knowledge to Live Nation Canada as the organization expands its presence in markets across the country.“Ken has been a colleague for 30 years. His passion for the entertainment business is reflected in his work ethic, as well as in making everyone feel welcome and excited to be participating in live concert experiences,” commented Riley O’Connor, Chairman, Live Nation Canada. “We are proud to officially welcome Ken to the Live Nation Canada family as we continue upon our path of bringing the most vibrant and exciting live entertainment to fans across Canada.” LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Twitter Advertisement About Live Nation EntertainmentLive Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV) is the world’s leading live entertainment company comprised of global market leaders: Ticketmaster, Live Nation Concerts and Live Nation Media & Sponsorship. For additional information, visit www.livenationentertainment.com.
A horrific tropical cyclone making landfall in the midst of election cacophony is not a good idea. It captures headlines briefly and makes for good politics — who did what and who did not. But the fact is that the impacts of Cyclone Fani, which devastated large parts of Odisha and then hit West Bengal and Bangladesh, have not gone away. It has left behind a trail of massive destruction. But what needs to be acknowledged in this tragedy is that there were far less fatalities than ever before. Also Read – Hijacking Bapu’s legacyThe incredible efforts of scientists, who predicted the path, and the state administration of Odisha — which ensured over a million people were evacuated — deserve praise. The state lost 10,000 people in the 1999 super cyclone. This time, even when wind speeds reached 204 kilometre per hour, the loss of human life was contained to 41. This is no small feat. However, what we need to understand is what Fani means in an increasingly climate-risked world. Every time there is a similar natural disaster, attribution is made to climate change. And every time, there is a pushback, with climate sceptics arguing that there have always been cyclones. But emerging climate models predict increasing intensity and frequency of tropical cyclones. The logic is fairly clear: As oceans warm, there is more moisture and ocean storms will build up to lash the land with devastating wind and rain. Also Read – The future is here!Sceptics will say there is no absolute count, over time, to show that the number of tropical storms have increased. There is some change, but the timescale is not long enough to account the difference. The 2018 Climate Assessment by the World Meteorological Organization found tropical storms in the Northern Hemisphere were up from 63 in the previous year to 74 in 2018; and were roughly the same, 22, in the Southern Hemisphere. So, if you want, at your risk, you could argue that storms will come and go. Why blame climate change? The fact is that there is a big difference, as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) is finding out. These storms have become increasingly and crazily unpredictable. In recent years, IMD had nearly perfected the science of cyclone forecast, but now it is learning, in real time, to change its methods and to advance its technology to keep pace with this erratic creature of the oceans. The first shock was Ockhi — which hit the Kerala coast in late 2017 and took away many lives. Ockhi transformed from a deep depression to a cyclonic storm in a matter of six hours. We must realise then that the failure to predict and warn was not just human. It was because of the unnatural characteristics — never seen before — of such a tropical storm. It changed direction; it gathered steam when least expected; and, became more intense and more virulent at speeds never seen before. One reason for this changing “nature” of the storm, as scientists later found, was the intense heat pockets in the ocean, which changed the direction and speed of the cyclone. This time, IMD was prepared. They used even more sophisticated equipment and improved their prediction models with this learning. But the speed of change is so rapid that this learning of 2017 was already outdated. Fani intensified from severe to very severe in no time; it also made landfall much ahead of schedule. Then, Fani moved inland — it reached Bhubaneshwar — and there it did not weaken in its wind speed. This is surprising as storms need moisture on land to gather intensity and to lash the land with rain. It is peak summer now — a time when ocean storms never hit in any case. How did it move inland? Why? How can we predict in the future? Fani tells us many things: one, we must invest in the science of weather and in our capacity for governance. Two, we must not count the number of tropical storms to conclude whether the world is risked or not. But most importantly, Fani teaches us that the future is even more risked and even more unpredictable than we imagined. It is time we woke up to this reality. There is no time to lose. (The author is Director General of Centre for Science and Environment and the Editor of Down To Earth magazine. The views expressed are strictly personal)
PORTLAND, Maine — Genetically engineered salmon is heading to store shelves in the U.S., but it won’t be coming from the biggest salmon farming state in the country.Massachusetts-based AquaBounty Technologies has said American supermarkets could begin selling the much-debated fish by the end of next year. Its fish are modified with added genes from other fish to grow about twice as fast as conventional salmon.The company modifies Atlantic salmon, a species that forms the backbone of the worldwide salmon aquaculture industry. Maine is the biggest producer of conventional Atlantic salmon in the U.S., sometimes producing more than 35 million pounds (15.9 million kilograms) of salmon per year, and its industry is poised to grow. Two new major salmon farms are in the approvals process in the state.But fish farmers in Maine are not considering using the genetically engineered fish, said Sebastian Belle, executive director of the Maine Aquaculture Association. Numerous conditions would have to be met before that would change, including customers requesting the fish in stores, he said. The group also feels the environmental assessment of the fish conducted by regulators was not rigorous enough, Belle said.“Our competitors would have to be using them and that would have to be giving our competitors an advantage in the marketplace,” Belle said. “We have no interest in growing GMO salmon, but we reserve the right to reassess that position.”AquaBounty’s salmon is the first genetically modified, or GMO, animal to be approved for human consumption. It has become a touchstone for the international debate about genetic engineering and food. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has signed off on the fish as safe to eat. The genetically modified salmon are also approved for sale in Canada.The company’s Indiana facility recently received the first batch of genetically engineered salmon eggs in the U.S., and they should be ready for harvesting in the final quarter of 2020, said AquaBounty spokesman Dave Conley.Other growers hoping to use the technology will face hurdles, he said. Fish farmers who want to use the eggs need FDA-approved, land-based facilities with containment features, and they will face regulatory oversight, he said.Genetically engineered salmon have faced numerous regulatory delays since a Canadian research team first developed them in the 1980s. Conley has said the goal of genetically modifying the fish is to “produce food more efficiently and more responsibly.”But consumers, fish farmers and retailers are slow to warm to the idea. Some retail chains have flatly refused to sell the genetically engineered fish. The International Salmon Farmers Association issued a statement years ago that it “firmly rejects” the idea because of environmental concerns. The group’s president, Trond Davidsen, said that position still holds.Nordic Aquafarms, a Norwegian firm, is planning a salmon farming operation in Belfast, Maine, that would be one of the largest in the United States. Erik Heim, the company’s president of U.S. operations, said genetically engineered fish are not part of the plan.“Based on practices and knowledge of consumers in our market at least, our decision is we will not pursue that,” Heim said. “It’ll be interesting to see how that goes with them.”Patrick Whittle, The Associated Press
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pays a visit to the UNMISS Tomping Protection of Civilians Site, meets with President Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe ‹ › With all this in mind, Mr. Ban said he is “strongly supporting” the expressed intent President Kiir and Mr. Machar to attend peace talks, set to resume Friday, 9 May, in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. He had met with President Kiir in the capital and had spoken by phone with Mr. Machar. While the UN and the international community are committed to providing humanitarian assistance, “we hope that peace will be regained as soon as possible,” continued the UN chief.“At the same time, I am urging the leaders and all those commanders of military units to fully protect the civilian population and also respect human rights and human dignity. Those who [commit] crimes against …international humanitarian law (and) human rights laws, they will have to be brought to justice,” he declared.The Secretary-General added that President Kiir had assured him that the United Nations – including the leadership of the UN Mission – have his full support.Saying that he is proud of the courage shown by UNMISS, Mr. Ban added that by opening its gates around the country, the Mission had saved tens of thousands of lives.While in the country, the Secretary-General visited the Tomping civilian protection site, which is currently home to some 21,000 South Sudanese civilians. He was able to see the hardship faced by the families living in the camp and pledged to them the UN’s support. “I think this is absolutely necessary at this time. Since this crisis [began with] political issues…it is only natural that President Salva Kiir and Dr. [Riek] Machar sit down together to address [it] through dialogue, in a peaceful way,” said Mr. Ban at press conference in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, wrapping up his one-day visit. The Secretary-General said he will continue to emphasize to the two leaders that “even though they may have some different political views, there is nothing which they cannot overcome. They are same people, same country – this is their country.”The UN chief arrived in the world’s youngest nation amid a conflict which began in mid-December 2013 as a political dispute between President Kiir and his former deputy president, Mr. Machar, who had been forced from office earlier that year. The in-fighting has since erupted into full-fledged conflict believed to have left thousands dead and which has forced tens of thousands to seek refuge at UN bases around the country. The crisis has also been marked by numerous grave human rights violations. Mid-April also saw an upsurge in sectarian violence, with mass killings in Bentiu and Bor.The Secretary-General said that when he visited the country three years ago for its independence ceremony, South Sudan had been full of joy, excitement and hope for the better future. “Yet today, I am standing here with a…heavy, heavy heart,” he said, noting that he was frustrated and saddened by what he had seen on this current trip. “I visited displaced persons who are now being accommodated in the UNMISS [UN Mission in South Sudan] compound. The United Nations will continue to help them so that they will be able to return to their homes as soon as possible,” he said.
Actions taken by the General Assembly – the universal body that comprises all 193 UN Members States – included revising the Organization’s budget for the 2016-2017 biennium to $5.61 billion and approving $639.53 million to keep the 33 UN special political missions running smoothly. In another text, the General Assembly called for $1.57 million gross ($1.46 million net) before recosting to continue improving UN’s administration of justice system. The call had been deemed necessary after an independent review last year concluded that, despite increasing transparency, only about half of the workforce had access to the system and many were unaware of it. The Assembly also adopted a wide-ranging human resources resolution aimed at finishing major reforms begun half dozen years ago. It also tasked the Secretary-General to investigate the reasons for delays at each stage of the staff selection and recruitment as well as made some changes to recruitment processes on a provisional basis as a pilot phase. Also yesterday, the General Assembly adopted 11 resolutions from its plenary and First Committee (dealing with disarmament and international security matters) tackling a wide range of issues, including nuclear disarmament, oceans and international law.
The Ohio State field hockey team will now be waiting on the edge of its seat Tuesday night when it will be finding out if it claimed one of the at-large bids into the 2011 NCAA Championships. The Buckeyes (12-8, 4-2) fell to the host-school, Penn State, 1-0 in a defensive battle on Friday afternoon. By losing in the semifinals of the 2011 Big Ten tournament, the Buckeyes will now need their season resume to make their case as they now stand on the bubble of being a tournament team. The Scarlet and Gray advanced to the semifinals after they defeated Michigan State, 2-1, just the day before when they scored two second-half goals against the Spartans to pave their road to their eventual loss to the Nittany Lions in the next round. The Buckeyes’ play was hindered by the strong Nittany Lions defense, which ranks at the top of the conference. “It’s tough when you are going against a goalie like theirs (Ayla Halus), who was just selected as First Team All-Big Ten this season,” senior captain Ally Tunitis said. “They are a really good team, but we played to the best of our ability.” It was clear heading into the Big Ten tournament that the team truly needed to capture the title as the No. 2 seed and a frontrunner to make it a lock to be in the NCAA Championships. “The automatic bid is what we are going for,” head coach Anne Wilkinson said prior to the tournament. All the Buckeyes can do now is sit and wait as they will be unsure of the future of their season until the selection show, which is scheduled for 8 p.m. Tuesday, with a live stream on NCAA.com. “It was unfortunate it had to end on one stroke,” Tunitis said. “If we don’t get the bid to the tournament, we will still be proud of how we played.” Penn State will now face top-seeded Michigan at 2 p.m. Sunday in the championship game as the Buckeyes will await their destiny.
Sign up for Your Royal Appointment – for everything you need to know about the Royal Family, direct to your inbox each week. However a source close to the Yorks said they were “upset” by the snub.Doubts over Prince Philip’s attendance come after the Telegraph reported that “Fergie” will be treated as “part of the family” on the big day, even though she hasn’t spoken to her former father-in-law since she divorced Prince Andrew in 1996.Philip once described Sarah Ferguson as “odd and pointless” and is said to still blame her toe-sucking antics for bringing shame on the royal family in the Nineties.Although Sarah is still close to the Queen, holidaying with her at Balmoral for the third year running in August, Philip is always notably absent when she stays in the Scottish castle with her ex-husband and daughters Eugenie, 28, and Beatrice. The Duke of Edinburgh will make a last minute decision as to whether to attend Princess Eugenie’s wedding, royal sources have told the Telegraph.At 97, Prince Philip now operates on a “wake up and see how I feel” basis, according to insiders.A well-placed source said: “The Duke of Edinburgh may not go to the wedding, just as he and the Queen did not attend Prince Louis christening in July.“There’s not a three line whip on these family occasions. Not unreasonably, when you consider his age, the Duke of Edinburgh will decide on the morning of the wedding if he’s going to be there. He now very much operates on a ‘wake up and see how I feel’ basis.”–– ADVERTISEMENT ––The revelation comes after it was announced Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, would not be attending Friday’s 11am ceremony at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, because she is carrying out a series of engagements in Scotland.Her spokesman said the invitation to help local schools celebrate harvest festival “pre-dated” the wedding invitation she received from Eugenie and her fiance Jack Brooksbank several months ago. He denied reports that it was because Camilla did not get on with the mother of the bride, the Duchess of York. “They get on very well, the couple has no issue with it – they have known about the diary clash for some time.” Her latest trip to the Highlands coincided with Princess Beatrice’s 30th birthday celebrations, where the Queen was guest of honour but the Duke did not attend. The Queen, 92, and the Duke are understood to have already travelled down from Balmoral to London in preparation for spending the weekend in Windsor.A royal insider added: “The royals are like any family in the sense they try to make family occasions but it is not always possible. I’m sure he would love to be there to see his granddaughter get married but no one would blame the Duke if he didn’t feel up to attending the wedding on the day – he’s only three years off 100.”
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedGovt releases CGX oil contractFebruary 18, 2018In “Business”Guyana to place temporary block on remaining oil blocks- Govt AdvisorNovember 8, 2018In “Business”Eco Atlantic sells majority shares in oil licence to French firmSeptember 27, 2017In “Business” Government on Friday released its petroleum agreement signed by Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman in 2016 with Tullow Guyana BV and Eco (Atlantic) Oil and Gas, Inc.According to the Natural Resources Ministry, the terms of the contract are the same as those for Esso (Exploration and Production) Guyana Ltd and partners Hess and CNOOC Nexen and CGX.Similar to the CGX contract that was signed in 2013, when no oil deposits were discovered, Government agreed to a one per cent royalty. In addition, a 53 per cent share of profit oil and gas; after recoverable costs have been satisfied was negotiated.Moreover, Government has agreed to stand the cost of all the company’s income taxes while exempting the contractors from the Property Tax Act, Value Added Tax and Corporation Taxes.However, the two contracts (CGX and Tullow/ Eco Atlantic) differ when it comes to the amount the contractors will pay Government on the annual Licence rental charge. CGX in its Production Sharing Agreement is required to pay US$100, 000 for every year the licence remains in force, while Tulllow/Eco oil is only required to pay US$40, 000.The Production Sharing Agreement also stipulates that all recoverable contract costs be recovered from the value of a volume of crude oil produced and sold from the contract area in any month to an equivalent amount of 75 per cent of the total production.Tullow Oil, parent company of Tullow Guyana BV is an oil and gas exploration and production company, which has interests in 90 exploration and production licences across 16 countries that are in West Africa, East Africa and ‘New Ventures’, which includes Guyana and French Guiana.Meanwhile, Eco (Atlantic) Oil and Gas, Inc was incorporated in January 2011 as Eco Oil and Gas Limited as a small independent international oil and gas exploration company based in Toronto, Canada.The signed agreement, sees Eco (Atlantic) Oil and Gas, Inc having a 40 per cent interest in the Orinduik Block while Tullow Oil has 60 per cent.In February of this year Eco Atlantic and Tullow revealed that the Orinduik Block offshore Guyana could potentially contain in excess of 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent.The Orinduik Block is located up dip and just a few kilometers from ExxonMobil’s recent Liza and Payara discoveries confirming, by Exxon’s estimates, in excess of 1.5 billion barrels of recoverable oil.Eco Atlantic and Tullow had said in a release that leads are up dip from the Liza discoveries located on the Stabroek Block and are currently being evaluated and matured to prospect status on recently acquired 3D survey data.
As the mining sector enters a phase of renewed opportunity, it is more urgent than ever for miners and explorers to assure investors and stakeholders that their Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve estimates can be trusted. Addressing delegates at a seminar at SRK’s Johannesburg office in February, Mark Noppe, corporate consultant and SRK Australia Chairman in SRK Consulting’s Brisbane office in Australia, advised that there are still surprisingly large gaps in the assurance systems that companies use to protect against inaccuracy of reporting exploration results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves.“Compared to assurance frameworks for financial, legal and environmental governance, there is still too little attention paid to systems related to Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves,” said Noppe. “This should not be the case, as resources and reserves represent the key assets of a mining company; senior management, boards and external stakeholders need firm assurance on the accuracy of estimated and reported technical information.”He noted that despite the guidance available in the industry – and even with many companies requiring peer reviews or audits of the generation and reporting of this data – these processes were often still carried out infrequently or ineffectively.“At this stage in the commodity cycle, when companies are still running lean or relying on teams with limited technical and management oversight experience, the risk of errors is particularly high,” he said. “There is often also a lack of mentoring in today’s working environment, and not enough time allowed for technical oversight and good peer reviews.”Noppe highlighted the fact that only about 2% of financial investment globally finds its way into the mining sector – a warning sign to the industry that it needed to preserve and improve its risk perception in the eyes of investors. In addition, mining regulators were increasingly interested in how mining and exploration companies managed this risk through internal regulatory systems.“Better assurance processes are vital for the sector to address the crisis of confidence that exists in certain quarters,” he said. “It goes beyond only verifying the technical data; rather, it extends to having enough of the right expertise, and putting in place appropriate structures and processes.”To be effective, the assurance of reliable Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve reporting must be included in a company’s risk management and control framework, he argued.“The assurance process really requires three layers of defence,” said Noppe. “Firstly, there should be a layer of self-validation and peer review when the work is performed; secondly, a layer of internal peer review and oversight is required; and thirdly, a level of independent review or audit is needed – one that is administered and monitored by appropriately mandated levels of management or board oversight.”He described peer reviews as ideally carried out at the same time that the data is prepared, where estimation procedures are selected and estimates are validated – before the sharing of results between disciplines or the final reporting of results.“Audits, on the other hand, are generally retrospective reviews by independent or external reviewers,” he said. “They rate the risks inherent to an already completed process, identifying opportunities for improvements in the future.”He emphasised that companies need at least a system of internal peer review to verify or validate the results generated prior to reporting.“Assurance tries to build a chain of information and decisions, but our total confidence in Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve estimations is only as strong as the weakest link in the chain,” said Noppe. “Lack of internal control is indeed a weak link that needs to be strengthened urgently – not only to reduce risk in an individual company’s reporting but to improve the credibility of the sector as a whole.”
La LPO s’inquiète pour le milan royal, victime d’empoisonnementDepuis le début de l’année, neuf cadavres de milans royaux, rapace jusqu’alors commun, ont été retrouvés en France, victimes probablement d’empoisonnements. Extrêmement inquiète pour l’avenir de l’espèce déjà vulnérable, la ligue de protection des oiseaux (LPO) réclame l’application et le respect de la loi sur la protection de la nature.Le milan royal, “ce rapace encore commun il y a 30 ans dans l’hexagone, s’avère être aujourd’hui gravement menacé”, déplore la LPO sur son site Internet. Depuis le début de l’année, neuf milans royaux ont été retrouvés morts en France. Les oiseaux ont certainement été empoisonnés volontairement, alerte l’association qui révèle que “les autopsies réalisées sur sept d’entre eux ont, d’ores et déjà, révélé un tableau lésionnel compatible avec une intoxication par convulsivants et notamment des inhibiteurs de cholinestérases (produits utilisés comme insecticides ou molluscicides)”. En 2010, ce sont 28 cadavres de milans royaux qui avaient ainsi été découverts. La plupart avaient été victimes d’empoisonnements, avec comme principale substance le carbofuran, un produit interdit à la vente en France depuis décembre 2008. “Il est donc certain que ces empoisonnements correspondent à des actes volontaires dirigés contre la faune sauvage, et particulièrement contre ceux dénommés à tort comme ‘nuisibles'”, tels que les renards, les fouines, ou les rapaces, explique la LPO.A ce jour, la France abrite 2.650 couples nicheurs, soit la deuxième population mondiale de milans royaux après l’Allemagne. “Notre pays assume donc une lourde responsabilité dans la conservation de ce rapace nécrophage, présent uniquement en Europe”, insiste la LPO. En outre, les empoisonnements de rapaces ne sont pas limités à la France, mais seraient répandus dans toute l’Europe, menaçant alors le Plan d’action européen pour le milan royal, mis en place par la Commission européenne.À lire aussiCes 18 animaux méconnus à l’aspect étonnant pourraient disparaître avant vousCette pratique menace une espèce déjà vulnérable, souligne l’association. En seulement six ans, entre 2002 et 2008, la population nicheuse du milan royal a en effet chuté de 20% en France, victime des nouvelles méthodes d’agriculture, et de “l’emploi massif de la bromadiolone dans la lutte contre les campagnols terrestres”, souligne l’association avant de déplorer l’autorisation d’utilisation de cette substance dans des zones où vivent des milans royaux, en Auvergne, et en Champagne-Ardenne notamment. L’association réclame alors l’application et le respect de la loi sur la protection de la nature, le milan royal étant comme tous les rapaces de France, protégé depuis 1972. La LPO exige l’interdiction de tous les produits dangereux pour la faune sauvage. Elle réclame aussi “que ceux interdits en France ne circulent plus librement sur notre territoire et que des sanctions soient prises à l’encontre des auteurs de ces faits délictueux”.Le 3 avril 2011 à 15:59 • Emmanuel Perrin